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Police Squad!- The Complete Series Blu-ray Review

Police

“Police Squad!” delivers a bundle of laughs.

“Police Squad!” is a 1982 TV comedy from the minds behind “Airplane!” (Jim Abrahams and the Zucker Brothers). The short-lived 6 episode series is a precursor to The Naked Gun film franchise and revolves around Police Detective Frank Drebin who reports to Captain Ed Hocken. Throughout the series, Frank investigates cases involving  a woman who commits murder to pay off her orthodontist debts, a corrupt boxing manager, mobsters, a bomber, a kidnapping, and a murdered comedian.

“Police Squad!,” for those that don’t know, is an “Airplane!” esque spoof of cop shows, procedurals, and crime dramas. As such, the series is loaded with sight gags, goofy voice over narration, wordplay jokes, absurd screen projections, and plenty of TV trope mocking (I particularly love the guest star bits). It’s been 38 years since the show has aired and yet it has not lost any of its luster. This is the type of comedy you just don’t see anymore, but, more than that, it’s the perfect remedy for these difficult times. You’ll be hard pressed not to laugh at the sheer ridiculousness of it all. From loud drink slurping and a 24 hour wicker store to a know-it-all shoeshiner and a ventriloquist dummy punch, the show will undoubtedly cause fits of laughter. Sure, The Naked Gun may have a slight edge over the series, but the series is still TV comedy at its finest. 

I couldn’t end this review without talking about Leslie Nielsen. Yes Abrahams, the Zucker Brothers, the writing staff and directors like Joe Dante deserve so much credit for orchestrating the madcap lunacy, but it’s Leslie Nielsen as Frank Drebin that really makes the series work. Whether he’s smashing into trash cans or doing something hilarious with a deadpan expression, you can’t imagine the series without him. 

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 4:3 1080p. How does it look? Although the episode prints have defects, the colors and image quality is top notch.

Audio Track: 5.1 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? A smooth 5.1 track.

Extras:
* Commentary on episode 1 and 3 by David and Jerry Zucker, Jim Abrahams, and Robert K. Weiss and episode 6 by writer Robert Wuhl (Yes, Wuhl from 1989 “Batman”)
* Casting tests for Ed Williams and Alan North.
* Production memo highlights
* A list of celebrity death shots
* Producers photo gallery
* “Behind The Freeze Frames”- Behind-the-scenes footage of freeze frame end credits.
* A nearly 9 minute interview with Leslie Nielsen.
* A 5 minute gag reel

April 12, 2020 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , , , , ,

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